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Tool use by non-tool-using animals: Sticks and stones

from The Economist print edition
May 27, 2009

Print: The Economist

Rooks, which do not use tools in the wild, can make and use them in the lab.

Read the full article.

Religions owe their success to suffering martyrs

Bob Holmes
May 27, 2009

Print: NewScientist

Willingness to endure suffering for your beliefs inspires others to believe too, according to an analysis of behavioural evolution.

(9) comments | Read the full article.

Christian Belief Through The Lens of Cognitive Science, Part 1 of 6

By Valerie Tarico
May 26, 2009

Print: The Huffington Post

” This article is the first in a series of six. Each takes a look at some part of our mental machinery, how it relates to our tendency toward religious belief.”

(18) comments | Read the full article.

French court tries Church of Scientology


May 25, 2009

Print: MSNBC

The Church of Scientology could be dissolved in France if it is convicted in a trial that opened Monday in a Paris court, where the group and seven of its French leaders stand charged of organized fraud and illegal pharmaceutical activity.

(7) comments | Read the full article.

Clear argument bolsters evolutionary truth

By Ted St. Godard
May 24, 2009

Print: Winnipeg Free Press

Review of Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True”

(4) comments | Read the full article.

The Coming Superbrain

By JOHN MARKOFF
May 24, 2009

Print: The New York Times

A discussion of the singularity (when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence) and the state of the field of artificial intelligence.

(3) comments | Read the full article.

The Bible Bill?

Victoria McGrane
May 23, 2009

Print: Yahoo News

A congressional resolution to declare 2010 “the Year of the Bible” is drawing widespread criticism.

(4) comments | Read the full article.

Why is Charlotte Allen so mad at atheists?

P.Z. Myers
May 23, 2009

Print: Los Angeles Times

She says it’s because we’re boring. More likely, it’s because we speak out against the intellectually bankrupt beliefs of religion.

(1) comments | Read the full article.

At the Bridge Table, Clues to a Lucid Old Age

By BENEDICT CAREY
May 22, 2009

Print: New York Times

Scientists are trying to study what conditions are correlated with avoiding dementia in old age.

(2) comments | Read the full article.

Finnish Website Helps 150,000 Resign from the Church


May 21, 2009

Print: National Secular Society

The Freethinkers of Finland have used a website campaign to enable more than 150,000 people to officially resign from the Lutheran Church.

Read the full article.

Missing Link Found Ida, The 47 Million Year Old Fossil

Stewart Ramsey
May 21, 2009

Video: SkyNews

Video of the newly discovered primate fossil said to be a “missing link” of early primates.

(6) comments |

Bloomington, Indiana bus system accepts atheist ads after threat of suit

By ED RONCO
May 20, 2009

Print: South Bend Tribune

The bus system of Bloomington, Indiana, has accepted ads from the Indiana Atheist Bus Campaign, saying “You can be good without god.”  The company had previously rejected the ads, but then approved it later after being threatened with a lawsuit, on the grounds that the bus company had carried religious ads before.

(5) comments | Read the full article.

Unveiled ‘Holy Grail’ Fossil Gets Celebrity Treatment

By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Staff Writer
May 19, 2009

Print: Live Science

Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History unveiled the incredibly complete fossil of a new, 47-million-year-old primate species thought to be an ancestor of humans. Called Darwinius masillae and nicknamed “Ida,” the creature is described as a small and lemur-like.

Read the full article.

Pentagon briefings no longer quote Bible

Associated Press
May 18, 2009

Print: MSNBC

The Pentagon has stopped putting Biblical quotes on the cover of the daily briefing for the president.  Under Bush, the Pentagon briefing had quotes such as “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.”

(5) comments | Read the full article.

Cannes falls in love with maths

by Charlotte Higgins
May 17, 2009

Print: The Guardian

Some lighter fare: a new movie premiers at Cannes about an ancient skeptic, the 4th-century mathematician and astronomer Hypatia.  (Unfortunately, she ends up getting killed by an angry Christian mob, so maybe not so light after all.)

(2) comments | Read the full article.

Former fundamentalist ‘debunks’ Bible

John Blake
May 15, 2009

Print: CNN.com

Just so you know, Bart Ehrman says he’s not the anti-Christ. Bart Ehrman says most of the New Testament is a forgery but it’s still an important body of work.

(3) comments | Read the full article.

Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life

By NICHOLAS WADE
May 14, 2009

Print: New York Times

A chemist discovers a plausible pathway for RNA nucleotides to have formed from inorganic chemicals, thus outlining how life may have chemically started.

(3) comments | Read the full article.

What Makes Us Happy?

by JOSHUA WOLF SHENK
May 14, 2009

Print: The Atlantic

A long-running longitudinal study of Harvard College students that started in the 1930’s may begin to shed light on what factors are more conducive to happiness.  An example of scientific inquiry being used to examine issues that have traditionally been the domain of religion.

Read the full article.

Cambridge college to scrap Christian grace


May 14, 2009

Print: Telegraph

Students from Newnham College Cambridge University will no longer say a traditional Christian grace before dinner instead using a secular version.

(2) comments | Read the full article.

Scientists put psychic’s paranormal claims to the test

Chris French
May 12, 2009

Print: The Guardian

Professional medium Patricia Putt was last week subjected to a rigorous scientific test of her powers as the first stage of her bid to claim a $1m prize from the James Randi Educational Foundation

(3) comments | Read the full article.

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